Months after a discussion was held on the possibility of closing the Flandreau American Legion, the Kelley-Porter Post has sworn in new officers and will remain active.
In January, District 7 Commander for the South Dakota American Legion Courtney VanZanten coordinated a meeting with District 7 Vice Commander Ed Stringer and local Post Commander Curt Eng.
Post 70 leadership had contacted VanZanten about becoming inactive and she wanted to meet with local veterans to talk about the possible closure but also options for revitalization.
“I know there is an active VFW in Flandreau,” VanZanten said. “I want to reinforce the point that both organizations are needed in this community. We can provide services on both sides and keep veterans at the forefront of our community.”
Keeping the American Legion in Flandreau a viable option for veterans in town are new officers Bart Sample, commander, Don Peters, adjutant, and Chris Sirvas, treasurer. Eng will stay on as vice commander to assist with the transition.
The new officers were sworn in officially on May 8.
“The three of us were pretty adamant that we didn’t want to see the Post close,” Sample said. “It has done a lot of things for us. We got together and talked through what we thought the core functions were and how to get people back into the Post.”
One initial change made will be having Legion meetings quarterly, on the second Monday of every third month, rather than monthly.
Sample said hopefully moving it to a quarterly commitment will make it easier for members to stay involved.
“In the meantime, we’re going to reach out to all of our members that are on the roster,” Sample said. “I want to visit with them and see what their expectation is of the Post and get them active again.”
Sample said they want to reach out to the Vietnam and Cold War-era veterans and get them more active in the Post as well.
The core focuses of the Legion will be on providing an honor guard at the funerals of…